Cornwall is visited my millions of people each year. People flock here for holidays on the coast. But despite its popularity, Cornwall has a mystical quality thanks to its rugged, windswept landscape and rich heritage.
It was a gentleman named Geoffrey of Monmouth who in 1150 started the legendary belief that the little town of Tintagel was the birthplace of the great King Arthur. This belief has been attached to Tintagel ever since, and indeed visitors still flock here still to catch a glimpse of the place where King Arthur may have been born.
The ruins of Tintagel Castle are quite spectacular set upon the steep cliffs overlooking the Atlantic ocean. It's believed that King Arthur was born here while Merlin stood famously in a cave beneath the castle. This is Merlins Cave and visitors can view it when the tide is not high.
Aside from these ancient remains Tintagel has a 14th Century Post Office that represents an interesting side-visit for travellers.
After you're done visiting the castle and post office, the town has a sleuth of tea rooms, pubs and souvenir shops to cater for the many visitors who come (mostly in summer).
Idyllic St Ives
This magical little corner of Cornwall offers wonderful, sandy beaches, narrow cobbled streets and a delightful harbour area an absolute joy for those wanting to discover the traditional, quaint Cornwall.
St Ives also has very strong historical ties to the arts community and testament to this can be found at the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden. Just a few of the famous 20th century artists from St Ives include Barbara Hepworth, John Wells and Ben Nicholson. Those interested in art will also want to check out the Tate St Ives museum.
Art aside there's plenty for the general tourist too fine, sandy beaches and a myriad of wonderful shops and restaurants makes this a first class destination for those wanting to see the very best that Cornwall has to offer.
As you would expect, the good stretches of beach here makes it another popular location for surfers, Porthmeor being the pick of the bunch. Other good beaches in St Ives include Porthgwidden, Porth Kidney Sands, Windasea and Porthminster.
St Ives is a good base for a Cornwall holiday there are lots of accommodation options to suit the budgets of all holidaymakers.
In South West Cornwall is the town of Penzance. Like St Ives, Penzance also has a reputation for having been an artists haven (in the 19th century) and still boasts many fine art galleries.
The climate in Penzance is wonderfully mild you'll see palm trees and other sub-tropical plant life in the beautiful Morrab Gardens (well worth a visit). It's also possible to catch views of St Michaels Mount from this busy harbour town.
There are some nice shops and restaurants near the harbour and some other points of interest in Penzance include the Penlee House Gallery & Museum and the Trinity House National Lighthouse Centre. Also worth a look is the interesting 19th century building that is Egyptian House.
There is no shortage of affordable lodging if you're looking to stay for a night or two in Penzance there are many bed & breakfasts offering a fair stay for reasonable fees or you could stay in one or two of the higher end places such as the Abbey hotel.
Some two miles from Penzance is the pretty village of Mousehole - Many believe it to be one of the most attractive fishing villages to be found anywhere in Cornwall. One of the famous (if eccentric) dishes that mousehole is famous for is "Stargazy Pie" a fish pie made with whole fish (and the heads sticking out of the pastry).
Also very close to Penzance is Newlyn a little town that (aside from being a pleasant fishing port) is known best for art. Newlyn started to be a hub for artists towards the late 18th century and it was a little later that the Newlyn School Of Art was opened.